ENGLISH 101: Composition I, Section 37656 (Fall 1997)

Chip Rogers, Instructor
Phone: 524-4685
Office: 331 South Stadium Hall
Office Hours: Tuesdays & Thursdays 12:45-1:45, Wednesdays 2:00-3:00
URL (web address): http://funnelweb.utcc.utk.edu/~chipster
Email Address: chip@fleetman.com

Required Materials
Signs of Life in the U.S.A. 2nd Edition.
Harbrace College Handbook. 13th Edition.
Harbrace Theme Folder (Form A, keyed to the Harbrace College Handbook).

Course Objectives
The primary aims of this class are 1) to improve your writing, 2) to familiarize you with strategies of effective argumentation, and 3) to develop your skill incorporating secondary materials (quotes) into your writing. Whatever your present abilities, this course will improve your writing and equip you with the essentials for college writing.

Requirements
5 formal papers 2-4 pages in length
6 informal reading response essays (journals) of at least 200 words
5 formal in-class essays
Corrections-"corrected" drafts of formal papers
Daily writings, exercises and quizzes
Peer response writings for formal papers
Two conferences outside of class
Library audio-tour

Policies
Attendance: Be here every day. Period. Each class is important, and any absences will affect your grade-attendance is 5% of your semester grade. In addition, graded assignments are collected virtually every class period, and you cannot make up missed assignments. If you become ill, or there is a death in your family, or if there is any other reason you cannot attend class, let me know to excuse your absence and make arrangements for missed assignments before you miss class. Call me at home or send me email. Doctor's notes and so forth will be considered irrelevant after the fact.

Late Work: No such thing. Deadlines are real.


Course Description
Conferences: In conferences I examine drafts of your formal papers. My aim is to point out major problems in your papers and offer critical response to your work before you submit it for grading. Bring your Harbrace folder and drafts of current papers to all conferences.

Grammar quizzes test your mastery of basic grammatical concepts following discussion of "Golden rules and nuggets" and/or readings from the Harbrace Handbook. Golden rules are important grammar rules taken from the Harbrace and restated in informal handouts. We will begin most class periods with a "golden nugget," a brief rule or problem in diction, style, or grammar. You will be tested on "rules" and "nuggets," so you should take notes on both.

In-class exercises: These will vary: most will involve paragraph-writing and/or practice structuring essays according to "persuasive format."

Peer responses involve close reading of classmates' papers and written criticism and advice on how to improve them. For most papers, I will provide specific guidelines to help focus your criticism.

Corrections: for each graded formal paper, 1) record all Harbrace errors in your folder, and 2) hand in corrected drafts with all changes underlined or highlighted. Corrections require a separate corrected draft made after your paper is graded, so you should word process and save all papers on disk to avoid having to retype entire drafts.

Journals: informal essays of at least 200 words responding to the readings (six total) before we discuss the readings in class-that is, journals are accepted only at the beginning the period for which they are assigned. I will give journal questions the period before we discuss each reading assignment: each journal assignment is valid for one class period only.

In-class essays are like essay exams on specific readings-but here your work is evaluated for structural quality as well as content.

Formal papers: the guts of the course-your formal papers are carefully organized and polished arguments on issues arising from readings and class discussion. I will give you handouts explaining each paper assignment in detail.

Paper Rewrites
You may rewrite and resubmit formal papers for re-grading as many times as you wish. Rewrite grades replace original grades. Rewriting involves far more substantial revision than correcting Harbrace errors: rewrites should address problems in structure, effect, content, and style. The starting point for revision is the comments I make at the end of your graded papers; revisions should also address notes, comments, and questions I make in the margins of your graded papers.

Grades
Your final grade beaks down like this:

Two conferences Required
Library tour Required
Attendance 5%
Nugget quizzes 4%
Golden rule quizzes 4%
In-class exercises 4%
Peer responses 5%
Corrections 5%
Journals 9%
In-class essays 10%
Paper 1 8%
Paper 2 10%
Paper 3 10%
Paper 4 12%
Paper 5 14%


You can track your grades over the semester by keeping your "Scorecard" (attached) up to date. Feel free to ask about your current overall grade at any time-I keep grades on computer spreadsheets that are updated weekly, if not daily.

 

The Bottom Line
I hope every member of this class gets an A , and I will do everything I can to make this happen. The standards for "A " work are high; but I guarantee you have the most accessible instructor at UT—ask for help outside of class, and you'll get it.

I expect every member of this class to pass. I will not tolerate slackness, and I will make no exceptions to course policies on absences, missed assignments, or late work. If you think you may have problems attending every class period and completing assignments when they are due, you should drop this class now.

Teaching history
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